I'm poised to buy a TFT touch screen for my Pi 2 or Pi 3. I have no desire to use the X Window interface (I believe this is what the stock Windowing interface is known as).

Instead, I prefer the commandline interface. Is it possible to have the commandline interface display on the TFT?

I prefer to code in Python and have several small programs which are working well on a 4-line LCD, but I'm now finding 4x40 characters to be quite limiting.

I suppose the question is 3 part:

1) In order to use the TFT, must I use the X GUI

2) Assuming not, can the TFT be used as a commandline terminal display

3) Can the TFT be addressed from a Python program in a similar fashion to a smaller LCD screen?

The touch-screen facility is incidental. I might like to play with it later.

This is not quite the same question as https://stackoverflow.com/questions/24147026/display-gui-on-raspeberry-without-startx which seems to be more centred around how to get pygame to work and on a TFT as an aside.


1 Answer 1


I think ftbft will work just fine to show the display. It will just work like any normal monitor just that the screen size will be smaller.

The TFT screen will most probably communicate with the RPi using the SPI(serial peripheral interface).

If you are planning to buy the Adafruit's TFT screen they have an open-source library for controlling the TFT over python scripts here.

Hope this helps!

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